Dressing a Maternity Body (feat. Riffraff)

Remember years ago when pregnant women were forced to spend the duration of their pregnancies wearing glorified potato sack dresses and horrendous maternity stirrup pants?

I was only nine when I remember my mom having to sport those oh-so-flattering clothes when she was pregnant with my brother. And even then, despite it being the early 90s, I remember thinking, "There has GOT to be someone out there who can make better clothes for pregnant ladies."

Thankfully, designers finally got their heads on straight and heard the cries of mamas everywhere. And do you know what? They found it to be an incredibly lucrative market (!!) (Well, gee golly! Who would've thought that women wanted to wear attractive clothing while they were pregnant?)

Vest c/o Riffraff (mine is out of stock, but similar here) // Charleston Glitz necklace c/o Riffraff // top is old from Loft (non-maternity), very similar here and here //  Fade to Blue Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Jean in dark wash (only $39.99!) // Toms Desert Wedge Bootie in Cheetah
Today, it's easier than ever...EVER...to look chic, put together and on-trend during those precious months of carrying a bambina. You just have to know what to wear, what to avoid and which brands/boutiques to shop.

You'll be delighted to know that you won't have to wear even one mumu.

Tips for dressing a maternity body:

1. You don't have to go up five sizes just because you're sporting a bump. I got a question from a darling pregnant girl on instagram the other night asking if she had to go up a size, just because she was pregnant. My personal philosophy? Nope. Here's the deal: most styles of tops today are very accomodating to a baby bump, (i.e. oversize sweaters, tunics, peplum tops, etc.)

I don't know if the fashion world is designing clothing like this on purpose, but it works. I honestly probably bought two or three maternity tops total that I've worn with both my babies.

Instead, look for styles like longer tunics and bottom-covering sweaters (you'll need the extra length) in your usual size or one size up (if your, um, assets have grown.) DO NOT run out and buy a bunch of clothing that's five sizes bigger than your usual; in ten months, you'll have that baby and be left with a bunch of clothes that don't fit and don't look good.

2. Invest in GOOD maternity pants/jeans. Cheap maternity pants are just...bad. They don't hold up and trust me, when that third trimester rolls around, you're going to want good britches. I'm not saying you have to invest oodles of money into pregnancy pants, but this is the area where you'll definitely WANT to buy maternity. Tops and dresses? Meh. Maternity pants= very necessary.

Also, here's a bit of friendly advice from a gal who has done it before: you'll be wearing those maternity pants home from the hospital and probably for a few weeks after the birth of your babe. Things don't just snap back immediately the day you check out of Labor & Delivery, especially if you've had a C-section and are retaining 20 extra pounds of fluid, (but they do snap back - promise!) You'll appreciate the extra fabric and tummy panel while things heal and return to their somewhat previous shape.

I really like these brands of maternity jeans:

All-time favorite: Fade to Blue Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Jean in dark wash (only $39.99!)
7 for All Mankind Secret Fit Belly Straight Leg Maternity Jean
Mavi Secret Fit Belly 5 Pocket Maternity Jean

3. Buy a BeBand. These have been my best friend during both pregnancies, especially during the second trimester. Essentially, it's a piece of tube top-looking, elasticized fabric that pulls up over your (unbuttoned) pants to allow you to still wear your favorite bottoms while you're pregnant. The Target brand BeBand is great for that transition time between non-maternity pants and the full blown "I'm about to pop" mama pants. It will also help save you money if you're on a limited budget or just don't want to invest in pricier maternity clothes.

I also really like Target's maternity tanks. Buy one in every color!

4. Do not throw in the towel. Trust me, at one million weeks pregnant myself right now, I-FRIGGIN-GET-IT. And yes, there are many days where I don't leave these maternity leggings and sweatshirts, which I may be wearing right at this very moment. But please don't give up for the next ten months. It's so easy, especially at the end, to just say "screw it" and throw on your fiftieth pair of jogging pants, but you'll feel soooooo much better about yourself if you get dressed. Even if it's just jeans and a cute top, I implore you to dress for yourself. It'll make those days when you feel like a manatee a whole lot more bearable. You are worth it. You are worth it.

You are worth it.


  1. great tips! i just bought that target maternity tank and i LOVE it! i need to check out those mavi jeans :) xo jillian - stop by! I'm hosting a Freshly Picked Moccasin giveaway on cornflake dreams

  2. This is my second time around too. And I definitely learned my lesson the first time around when I made the mistake of purchasing lots of maternity tops - and then hate every. single. one. of them. They weren't flattering. They were overpriced. So not worth it. They were all donated and consigned immediately after I had Caleb (aside from a few basics, like the BeBands, which I have held onto). This time around, I am taking heed in what you've done, and am going to try to make it all the way through with good maternity pants, and lots of cute sweaters and tops in preggo-flattering styles (which there are a lot more of than I thought!) Love your tips, Leslie! You make pregnancy so cute:)

  3. Great tips. What's funny though, I didn't purchase ANY maternity pants! I was pregnant during the summer, so I purchased 2 pair of shorts - one white and one denim- and a handful of maternity tops. I wore my shorts on the weekends and dresses during the week. Also, New York and Company has a "pull on pant" that comes in all colors and patterns. Look like regular dress pants, but with an elastic waist. Agreed that nothing "snaps back" after a c-section quickly so have several comfy pants ready (for a week or two).

  4. I have a hard time getting dressed now let alone when I'm pregnant... I'll be thinking of you as I try to force myself to try a little harder because you look amazing and I want to too!

  5. I'm on baby #3 at the moment I agree that maternity tops are a waste of money. I really like Gap and Old Navy for maternity pants and leggings and they aren't pricey! I have yet to invest more than $50 in a pair of maternity pants and have been happy with most of them.
    The BeBand does not work for me at ALL! my buttons from my pants always stick out and show through my tops and my pants don't stay up as well. I prefer to start with maternity pants that aren't full panel, Gap has some great elastic insert styles that can work your whole pregnancy.
    I also like to wear my maternity pants 3-4 months postpartum! Oops :)

  6. Thank you for this post, I'll be looking back at it one day for sure!!

  7. Cutest maternity outfit ever! You look gorgeous, I hope I can be that stylin when I'm preggers :)

  8. you look great! I love that necklace!

    Thrift and Shout

  9. Cute sweater :) M&MFASHIONBITES mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr


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